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Athletes’ Psychological Needs and Coaches’ Interpersonal Behaviors: A Within-Person Latent Profile Analysis

Stephen Shannon, Garry Prentice, and Gavin Breslin

Basic psychological needs theory is limited by variable-centered studies focused on linear relationships between perceived needs-supportive/controlling coach behaviors. Therefore, latent profile analysis was used to determine if heterogenous profiles emerged from the interactive effects of needs-supportive and -controlling coach behaviors and the subsequent association with sport-specific mental health outcomes (i.e., burnout and subjective vitality). A total of 685 athletes took part (age = 23.39 years, male = 71%), and the latent profile analysis revealed five novel, diverse profiles, labeled as “supportive-developmental,” “needs-indifferent,” “overly critical,” “harsh-controlling,” and “distant-controlling” coaches. The profiles predicted significant mental health variance (adjusted R 2 = .15–.24), wherein the “supportive-developmental” profile scored most favorably on 90% of the outcomes. The largest mean differences were observed against the “harsh-controlling” (n = 5), “overly critical” (n = 3), and “distant controlling” (n = 2) profiles. Overall, latent profile analysis revealed substantial nuance in athletes’ social contexts, predicting variance in mental health. Needs-supportive interventions are needed for “overly critical,” “harsh controlling,” and “distant controlling” athlete profiles.

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Decision Outcomes in Sport: Influence of Type and Level of Stress

Teri J. Hepler and Matt Andre

In two experiments, the authors investigated the influence of stress type (i.e., low/no stress, mental, and physical), level (i.e., low, moderate, and high), and Type × Level interaction on intuitive decision frequency, decision quality, and decision speed. Participants were exposed to mental (i.e., color word task, mental arithmetic) and/or physical stress (i.e., running) and then required to make decisions regarding videotaped offensive situations in basketball. Intuitive decision frequency, decision quality, and decision speed were measured for each trial. Study 1 used a between-subjects design whereby 20 participants were randomly assigned to each of the five stress conditions. Results revealed that moderate stress was associated with faster decisions. Study 2 replicated the design and aim of Study 1 using a within-subject methodology (n = 42). Results suggested that moderate stress levels produced better, faster decisions. In conclusion, moderate levels of stress were associated with the most desirable decision outcomes.

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Effectiveness of the Fun for Wellness Online Behavioral Intervention to Promote Well-Being Actions in Adults With Obesity or Overweight: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Seungmin Lee, Adam McMahon, Isaac Prilleltensky, Nicholas D. Myers, Samantha Dietz, Ora Prilleltensky, Karin A. Pfeiffer, André G. Bateman, and Ahnalee M. Brincks

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of the Fun For Wellness (FFW) online intervention to increase well-being actions in adults with obesity in the United States in relatively uncontrolled settings. The FFW intervention is guided by self-efficacy theory. The study design was a large-scale, prospective, double-blind, and parallel-group randomized controlled trial. Data collection occurred at baseline, 30 days after baseline, and 60 days after baseline. Participants (N = 667) who were assigned to the FFW group (n FFW = 331) were provided with 30 days of 24-hr access to FFW. Supportive evidence was provided for the effectiveness of FFW in real-world settings to promote, either directly or indirectly, three dimensions of well-being actions: community, occupational, and psychological. This study shows that theory-based intervention may be effective in promoting well-being actions in adults with obesity in the United States.

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The Effects of Aerobic Versus Cognitively Demanding Exercise Interventions on Executive Functioning in School-Aged Children: A Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial

Anna Meijer, Marsh Königs, Irene M.J. van der Fels, Chris Visscher, Roel J. Bosker, Esther Hartman, and Jaap Oosterlaan

The authors performed a clustered randomized controlled trial to investigate the effects of an aerobic and a cognitively demanding exercise intervention on executive functions in primary-school-age children compared with the regular physical education program (N = 856). They hypothesized that both exercise interventions would facilitate executive functioning, with stronger effects for the cognitively demanding exercise group. The interventions were provided four times per week for 14 weeks. Linear mixed models were conducted on posttest neurocognitive function measures with baseline level as covariate. No differences were found between the exercise interventions and the control group for any of the measures. Independently of group, dose of moderate to vigorous physical activity was positively related to verbal working memory and attention abilities. This study showed that physical exercise interventions did not enhance executive functioning in children. Exposure to moderate to vigorous physical activity is a crucial aspect of the relationship between physical activity and executive functioning.

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Volume 42 (2020): Issue 6 (Dec 2020)

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A Moral Intervention Reduces Doping Likelihood in British and Greek Athletes: Evidence From a Cluster Randomized Control Trial

Maria Kavussanu, Philip Hurst, Mariya Yukhymenko-Lescroart, Evangelos Galanis, Ailish King, Antonis Hatzigeorgiadis, and Christopher Ring

Objectives: The authors aimed to develop a moral intervention and to determine whether it was more effective in preventing doping than an educational (i.e., knowledge-based) intervention; their primary outcome was doping likelihood, and the secondary outcomes were moral identity, moral disengagement, moral atmosphere, and anticipated guilt. Methods: Eligible athletes (N = 303) in the United Kingdom and Greece took part in the study. The authors randomly assigned 33 clubs to either the moral or the educational intervention. They measured outcomes pre- and postintervention and at 3- and 6-month follow-up. Results: Athletes in both interventions in both countries reported lower doping likelihood and moral disengagement and higher guilt from pre- to postintervention. These effects were maintained at the 3- and 6-month follow-ups. There were no effects on moral identity or moral atmosphere. Conclusions: In addition to disseminating information about doping, doping prevention programs should include content that focuses on moral variables.

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Pilot Studies to Evaluate Feasibility of a Physical Activity Intervention for Persons With Depression

Kendall J. Sharp, Charles C. South, Cherise Chin Fatt, Madhukar H. Trivedi, and Chad D. Rethorst

Exercise reduces depressive symptoms and improves physical health in persons with depression. However, the interventions implemented in research studies require significant resources, limiting adoption into clinical practice and suggesting the need for more efficient interventions. In two nonrandomized pilot studies, the authors evaluated the feasibility of a multicomponent intervention (group educational sessions, Fitbit, and access to exercise facility) in adult persons with depression and breast cancer survivors with depression. The participants in both pilot studies completed 12 weeks of group educational sessions to increase physical activity levels, were provided with self-monitoring devices, and were provided access to on-site exercise facilities. Depressive symptoms significantly decreased postintervention, and over 90% of the participants reported that they had benefited from the intervention. These results indicate that implementing a multicomponent intervention is feasible and may reduce depressive symptoms and improve other psychosocial outcomes.

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Digest

Kim Gammage, Alyson Crozier, Alison Ede, Christopher Hill, Sean Locke, Eric Martin, Desi McEwan, Kathleen Mellano, Eva Pila, Matthew Stork, and Svenja Wolf

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Female Athletes in Retirement: A Test of a Psychosocial Model of Bulimic Symptomatology

Stephanie L. Barrett and Trent A. Petrie

Although researchers have examined eating disorders in female athletes, few such studies have been done with athletes who are retired, and even fewer have been quantitative. Thus, the authors empirically tested an established eating disorder theoretical model with 218 former NCAA Division-I female collegiate athletes who had been retired for 2–6 years. In retirement, participants completed measures of general sociocultural pressures related to body and appearance, thin-ideal internalization, body dissatisfaction, dietary restraint, negative affect, and bulimic symptomatology. Through structural equation modeling, the authors examined the direct and indirect relationships among the latent variables while controlling for body mass index and years since retirement. The model fit the data well, supporting the hypothesized direct and indirect relationships among the variables and explaining 54% of the variance in bulimic symptomatology. Despite no longer being exposed to sport pressures that contribute to eating disorders, female athletes experience such symptoms long into retirement.

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Goal Motives and Well-Being in Student-Athletes: A Person-Centered Approach

Laura C. Healy, Nikos Ntoumanis, and Calum A. Arthur

Using a person-centered approach, the aim of this study was to examine how student-athletes’ motives for multiple-goal pursuit relate to indices of well- and ill-being. Student-athletes (N = 362) from British universities identified the most important sporting and academic goals that they were pursuing over the academic year. The participants rated their extrinsic, introjected, identified, and intrinsic goal motives for each goal and completed measures of well- and ill-being. Latent profile analysis revealed six distinct profiles of goal motives, with variations in both the strength of motives and the motivational quality. Follow-up analyses revealed between-profile differences for well- and ill-being; students with more optimal goal motive profiles reported higher and lower well- and ill-being, respectively, than those with less optimal goal motives. To experience well-being benefits when pursuing multiple goals, student-athletes should strive for their academic and sporting goals with high autonomous and low controlled goal motives.